Google announced that it will be cracking down on disturbing cartoons that appear on the YouTube Kid's App. Google owns YouTube, and says it's rolling out new policies in the coming weeks to make sure the cartoons, which appear to be made for kids but have very inappropriate adult-themes, are taken down.
Parents have been warning other parents about these parody cartoon videos for months.
Hundreds of these videos exist on YouTube, and some generate millions of views. A new study by researchers from the US, UK and Brazil analyzed YouTube videos from all three regions that had been viewed more than 37 billion times. They found that children are increasingly exposed to videos containing advertising and disturbing images that are indistinguishable from regular kids' programming.
One channel, called "Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs", is one of the top 100 most watched YouTube accounts in the world. Its videos have more than 5 billion views.
Many of the videos appear harmless, and are. But some other videos are strangely disturbing, especially when considering that children are watching them. One features a Spiderman-baby playing with scissors. Another shows a claymation Hulk getting his pants pulled down. Other videos feature Peppa Pig, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elsa from Frozen, and many other characters. All of them appear to be kids videos with adult-themed content.
Check out one mother's experience by CLICKING HERE: theoutline.com/post/1239/youtube-has-a-fake-peppa-pig-problem
So what's a parent to do? Having screen-time available for your kids can be a valuable tool as a parent. And giving kids the chance to use the tablet without you hanging over them is empowering for the child, and a good experience to foster. But it's hard to make sure they're not viewing anything inappropriate. YouTube suggests turning on Restricted Mode, which you can read about here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/174084
The FTC also has a series of guidelines about staying safe online. CLICK HERE: www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/protecting-kids-online